Venue: Remote: Via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Jasmine Kassim
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 15 December 2020
be confirmed as an accurate record
Councillor Millbank declared an interest in item 3 because she is a member of
Lewisham Local Collaboration.
Councillor Muldoon declared an interest in relation to PLACE/Ladywell. He is
a volunteer for a project at Rushey Green Time Bank who are currently
licensed on the ground floor of PLACE/Ladywell. He does not receive any
This item was presented by the Director of Public Health and the Director of
The Director of Public Services said that there had been many changes since
the last meeting of this Panel. Lewisham had moved from tier 4 to a national
lockdown following a huge increase in infection rates.
Critical Services continued to be delivered but were under pressure from
covid absences and some staff in isolation. Response services also continued
to be delivered. 140 members of staff had been deployed throughout the
Covid action team. The main areas of deployment included 52 members of
staff in local track and trace, 30 in community testing and 26 in enforcement.
Community Testing for those without symptoms – As at 25 January 2021,
4042 were tested, 65 of those were positive. There were testing centres in the
Civic Suite, a mobile unit in Wearside and a site at the Green Man. A further
site in the North of the borough should be open next week. A walk in service
would be offered this week at certain times of the day, in an effort to make the
service more convenient for people to use.
Trace and Trace was labour intensive. Last week staff were contacting 86%
of cases; the 12th highest in London.
Enforcement – Covid rules had been enforced in parks at the weekend and
businesses visited. It had been noted that people had become more
complacent and there had been wide spread noncompliance. Joint working
within the teams had improved. Enforcement arrangements had been
reviewed and some changes had been made. Enforcement officers delivered
a letter from the Mayor to all local supermarkets and it was now easier to
report breaches on line. Last week 1,576 checks were made and 267 formal
visits made to businesses.
Schools 10% of pupils attended school. These included vulnerable children
and those whose parents were key workers. Numbers were higher than in the
first lockdown. Schools and colleges were working with officers and the
department of education to establish need and ensure the most vulnerable
and disadvantaged learner had access to digital services.
Infection rates were down. Over the last 7 days in Lewisham, the infection
rate per 1000 was 538. This figure was higher for 60+ years at 644. Although
hospitals were still full, it was hoped that within 2 weeks these numbers would
reduce also. The numbers of deaths from covid in the week ending 8 January
2021 had increased to 30. This number was expected to increase over the
next few weeks.
In conclusion, the Director of Public Services said that staff were focussing on
key areas and working very hard.
The Chair thanked staff and volunteers for their hard work and expressed
members’ appreciation for the way the delivery of critical services was being
Councillor Codd asked whether people were co-operative when contacted by
Trace and Trace staff, whether they were isolating and whether there was
enforcement after advice had been given. The Director of ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
The Head of Business and Committee presented this report.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Interim Director of Regeneration and Place presented the report
Councillor Muldoon referred to page 29 of the Mayor and Cabinet report, 13
January 2021, and asked whether there was a great demand for commercial spaces on the east side of Lewisham High Street and whether tenants had
been identified. The Senior Development & Land Manager advised that all the
units were currently let; three through a company called Meanwhile and one
through the Council. Officers were working through the long term options for
the commercial units and they would be secure until at least October. There
were indications that the units were popular and able to be rented because all
of the units were currently under leases.
Councillor Codd said that he considered that the retention of the PLACE
Ladywell building on the current site was the best option and asked whether
Planning would support the sustainable future of the current site for several
more years. He had concerns about how long Planning would allow this
decision to stand and asked for some assurance that the future of the site
would be secured for a number of years.
Council Johnston-Franklin said that PLACE Ladywell was a great design on
Lewisham High Street and she asked whether it would be possible to relocate
to Slaithwaite Road car park in the future. She also asked whether only 69
homes would be built behind the site if it stays in its current location; this
would be a huge drop in the numbers expected at the beginning of this
project. She asked whether officers had undertaken a risk assessment.
Councillor Johnston-Franklin said that she had been contacted by parents of
children currently attending the nursery on the site, expressing their concern
at the loss of a very much needed nursery provision. She asked whether
spaces had been found in the borough to accommodate these children.
In response to these questions, Councillor Bell said that every development
undertaken by Lewisham is project managed. Occasionally, during this
process, an unforeseen problem may arise and it was important that decisions
change to ensure that this Council does not continue to lose money. The first
phase of this project would provide 69 homes, phase 2 would deliver more
with PLACE being retained in phase 1.
Councillor Bell said that the nursery had a commercial lease with the Council
for 5 years and they were aware that a break in this contract would take place;
he understood that this had been discussed with Lewisham Homes on 27
March 2020. In the summer of 2020 it was agreed that the lease of the porta
cabin at the rear of the site should be extended until March 2021.
Unfortunately the nursery did not advise the parents until 6 January 2021
Lewisham had empathy with the parents, particularly during this pandemic. A
meeting would soon be held between parents and CYP officers to consider
how Lewisham could support parents. Lewisham had managed this situation
correctly in their duty to give ... view the full minutes text for item 65.
Councillor Curran reported that the Sustainable Development Select
Committee had referred to Mayor and Cabinet, the recommendation that the
Council had a place on the website where advice could be found on how to
live more sustainably and reduce carbon footprint.
Councillor Sorba said that the Children and Young People Select Committee
made two referrals to Mayor and Cabinet, recommending that two of the cuts
proposals should not be taken in this financial year. One was the cut in
children’s mental health services the other was the cut to health visitors.
He said that the next meeting of this Select Committee would receive the six
monthly safeguarding report and members would also consider a six month
follow up on the work the Committee had undertaken on temporary
accommodation and how it affected families who were placed out of the
borough, particularly if they had children attending Lewisham schools.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Decisions Made by Mayor on 13 January 2021 - closed session
Officers were asked whether the financial costs for relocation were robust.
Members were advised that there had been several changes since the
beginning of the project including a change in building regulations. In addition,
considering a specific site or a series of sites would have enabled officers to
consider a cost base. The report was transparent and officers’
recommendation was that the PLACE building should not be relocated at this
time, but come forward as a second phase in the future.
Members were advised that refurbishment and safety control fire measures
would be undertaken to the PLACE building. These works would be on the
outside of the building and could be completed with residents in situ.
Members were advised of the costings of the upgrade works.
There were no decisions identified for further discussion.